Abraham Lincoln (18091865). Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas 1897.
raise it in Louisiana, or that it can compel the people of Illinois to cut pine logs on the Grand Prairie, where they will not grow, because they cut pine logs in Maine, where they do grow? The Judge says this is a new principle started in regard to this question. Does the Judge claim that he is working on the plan of the founders of government? I think he says in some of his speechesindeed, I have one here nowthat he saw evidence of a policy to allow slavery to be south of a certain line, while north of it it should be excluded, and he saw an indisposition on the part of the country to stand upon that policy, and therefore he set about studying the subject upon original principles, and upon original principles he got up the Nebraska bill! I am fighting it upon these original principlefighting it in the Jeffersonian, Washingtonian, and Madisonian fashion.
Now, my friends, I wish you to attend for a little while to one or two other things in that Springfield speech. My main object was to show, so far as my humble ability was capable of showing, to the people of this country, what I believed was the truth,that there was a tendency, if not a conspiracy, among those who have engineered this slavery question for the last four of five years, to make slavery perpetual and universal in this nation. Having made that speech principally for that object, after arranging the evidences that I thought tended to prove my proposition, I concluded with this bit of comment:
We cannot absolutely know that these exact adaptations are the result of preconcert; but when we see a lot of framed timbers, different portions of which we know have been gotten out at different times and places, and by different workmen,Stephen, Franklin, Roger, and James, for instance,and when we see these timbers joined together, and see they exactly make the frame of a house or a mill, all the tenons and mortises exactly fitting, and all the lengths and proportions of the different pieces exactly adapted to their respective places, and not a piece too many or too few,not omitting even the scaffolding,or if a single piece be lacking, we see the place in the frame exactly fitted and prepared yet to bring such piece in,in such a case we feel it impossible not to believe that Stephen and Franklin, and Roger and James all understood one another from the beginning, and all worked upon a common plan or draft drawn before the first blow was struck.